Qavah the Brave by Wes Talbott

Qavah the Brave (Art by Wes Talbott)

We’re all aware of the prototypical ‘tough’ heroine that floats perpetuates itself in the the Fantasy/Science Fiction/Superhero art world: clothes a-tatter, cleavage heaving, an uncomprehendingly contradictory air of both immense sexuality, helplessness and badassness. But, what about all those little girls (and boy) who are growing up and looking for a strong, female rolemodel. Whether a beautiful portrait, or an inspiring character, I’ve gathered together a collection of strong women who kids (and adults) can hopefully find some inspiration in.

When I grow up, I’m gonna be

I don’t have children, but when I do, I won’t mind one bit if they look up to characters like these and, just maybe, tell me, “Daddy, when I grow up, I wanna be a Knight, a Super Woman, A Wizard!” (Or even a Time Lord Lady.) For more art like this, check out my post on ‘Women Fighters In Reasonable Armor’

Who are some of your favourite inspirational women in Science Fiction, Fantasy or Comic Books?

  • Celyn.A October 11, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    1. Eowyn, because despite all the anti-Tolkien nay-sayers, she’s not just a strong female character, she’s a strong *feminist* female character.

    2. Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan, because she’s so wise, so strong, and so humane.

    3. Arya Stark, because when the only thing to eat is worms, she’ll eat worms. And because of: “Is there *gold* in the village?”

  • Aidan Moher October 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Great choices, Celyn! To my shame, I’ve not read Bujold’s novels, so I can’t speak for Cordelia, but the other two are two of my favourite genre characters period, regardless of gender.

  • neal October 11, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    I’ve always liked Grendel’s mother. She was bad-a**.

    “Daddy, when I grow up, I want to be Grendel’s mother.”

  • Raphael October 28, 2012 at 4:10 am

    Kentricken in Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy. She starts out as the archetypical maiden, but becomes much more.

    Raina Blackhail in J.V. Jones’ series Sword of Shadows. She, too, is “just the wife of the chief” but is one of the strongest characters in the whole series (which makes very clear who, while the men are out waging war, runs things). Her (re)gaining agency is a major plot element.

    Which go to say: you can be the “housekeeping” wife/husband and still be vitally important to your family/clan/kingdom. I think this is one idea that is threatened to be lost in modern feminism.

    More obvious is maybe Hermione Granger in Harry Potter. She’s a girl, she is studious — but the boys are completely lost without her. She’s courageous and pretty, too, and all these characteristics are not-contradicting.

  • Raphael October 28, 2012 at 4:14 am

    Oh, I forgot Vin from Sanderson’s Mistborn. Badass warrior despite “female” weaknesses (I think mainly of stature and insecurity).